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Veterinary hospitals and animal clinics provide invaluable services that most of us have had to rely on for our furry friends. Sometimes, visits to the vet consist of a quick check-up, while other times, we may receive devastating or heartbreaking news about the pets we consider family members. Every veterinary facility that is built from the ground-up must be done so with both human and animal comforts in mind. Compared to a typical medical facility, animal and veterinary clinics have extra challenges to overcome to ensure that both humans and animals alike feel welcomed and at home while visiting.

If you are planning to renovate, remodel, or construct a brand-new animal clinic of some kind, there are several hurdles you will need to take into consideration when it comes to the design and building processes. Norwest Contractors has assisted several animal hospitals and specialty veterinary clinics in the past. We have empowered our clients to overcome design challenges with the help of our experienced architects, financial planners, and team managers.

Over the years, we have found that there are three significant challenges that veterinary clinics must master when remodeling or reconstructing their locations. Find out how you can address these issues, as well as how Norwest Contractors has helped local animal clinics and hospitals overcome these challenges in the past.


1. Combining Professionalism with Comfort

Animal lovers tend to value their furry friends above most other things in their lives. When it is time to take in a pet to a veterinary, it can cause a lot of anxiety for both humans and animals. For this reason, animal clinics need to work to combine comfort and professionalism to instill a sense of ease and confidence in all their guests. During the construction phases of your veterinary hospital or animal clinic, one of the most significant challenges you will face is combining professional care with the comforts of home. An overly clinical or static setting may be suitable for medical procedures and other veterinary activities, but this kind of environment will cause even more stress for your clients. Working to find a balance between a warm and inviting space with a clinical one is the recommended route for any veterinary or animal clinic build-out.

How Norwest Solves This Problem: When we teamed up with Kenton Animal Hospital in Portland, Oregon, we knew right away that it was important to their staff that their new hospital match their vision closely. This meant that we needed to create a welcoming environment that allowed for great customer interactions and care. Kenton Animal Hospital had this to say about our services:

“Working with the design team was amazing. They had taken the time to listen to our visions and knew who Lindsay and I were and what our goals were for this space. We really wanted to create a welcoming environment that when you walked in, at the beginning of the day, you take a deep breath and enjoyed being in the space. They hit the nail on the head.”

-Dr. Niki Graf DVM, CVA & Dr. Lindsay Thurwachter DVM, CVA, CVFT

The finished product exceeded expectations. Kenton Animal Hospital achieved the build-out they were seeking with the help of our efficient, supportive, and reliable team. Check out the completed project here.

2. Noise-Reduction

Animal hospitals and clinics are undoubtedly noisy. Barks, chirps, meows, and other animal noises can probably be heard around-the-clock. Excessive sound can make it challenging for veterinary clinics to operate without disrupting surrounding buildings, especially if their location is sandwiched in between other businesses. Noise-reducing materials are a must if you are planning to build an animal hospital or veterinary clinic that is in a downtown or busy location. The right veterinary contractor and design team will be able to help you decide on the right materials that will ensure your staff can carry out day-to-day operations without disrupting surrounding businesses.

How Norwest Solves This Problem: When Pearl Animal Hospital was referred to Norwest Contractors by one of our other clients, we couldn’t wait to get started with their building construction. We knew immediately that noise-reduction would be a top priority for their location. To help them pick the right materials, we had them meet with our interior designers to construct a sound attenuation system for their space. Their practice now serves those in and around the Portland area without any disruption to other surrounding businesses. Here is what Pearl Animal Hospital had to say about working with our team at Norwest and their completed veterinary hospital design:

“I was referred to Norwest by another vet. I can see why. They were transparent about the pricing structure – everything was upfront and clear, so I knew exactly what I was getting into. The project managers were easy to talk to and always accessible, including evenings and weekends. I felt like these were good people, honest and true. And, while they were great throughout the job, I’ve also been pleased with their responsiveness after we moved in.”

-Dr. Courtney Anders DVM

Working with Pearl Animal Hospital was one of our most challenging, but exciting projects to date. We were able to build them a great space that allows them to operate in the heart of the Pearl District in Portland without disrupting their neighbors. Take a look at photos of the completed hospital here.

3. Conducting Renovations without Disrupting Services

The last and final challenge you may run into while in the process of constructing your animal clinic or upon completion is the need for additional renovations. This can be tricky since it is likely that you may need to operate business as usual, but you obviously want to eliminate the possibility that any of the animals that visit you will be at risk of dust inhalation, injury from loose nails, or other hazards that may come with dangerous working conditions. Since you do not want to halt client services, finding the right contractor is the best way to receive renovations or expansions of your clinic while keeping your clientele safe.

Be sure to ask your future contractor how they plan to block off certain construction areas while working during business hours. Working closely with them for the safety of your clients will be well worth it. Expanding your business is important, but so is protecting the humans and animals that will enlist your services during these expansion phases. The right veterinary contractor will be able to provide you with the renovations you are looking for, while also keeping furry friends and humans safe during the process.

How Norwest Solves This Problem: When Animal Dental Clinic in Lake Oswego initially hired Norwest to construct their one-of-a-kind 3,300 square foot clinic, they never imagined that business would boom so dramatically in such a short time. Animal Dental Clinic enlisted our services yet again shortly after opening to help construct additional treatment rooms, including those devoted solely rehabilitation, complete with treadmills and other devices. Since business had well been underway by the time we were asked to construct additional renovations, we had the extraordinary task of ensuring that business could operate as usual while the building underwent additional construction. Here is what Animal Dental Clinic had to say about their experience working with us:

“Having this new space which is beautiful, large and functional is wonderful. Our staff, myself included, are happy and comfortable being here and I think that shows to our clients. Having this new space has allowed us to take care of the needs of the animal community much better. We can facilitate getting in more patients that need our care. People feel very comfortable when they come in and when they walk into the back and it opens up into this large operatory where we do all our work, it’s quite impressive.”

-Dr. Jean Batting, D.V.M.

Norwest Contractors is thrilled that Animal Dental Clinic was so successful right from the start that they needed additional renovations to accommodate their patients. To see photos of the completed animal clinic design, check out photos here.


As you can see from testimonies from our previous clients, there are a variety of challenges that you may face when looking to construct or renovate an animal clinic or hospital, but overcoming them is more than possible! In fact, as a team of animal lovers here at Norwest Contractors, we always welcome the challenge and privilege that comes with working on animal clinic build-outs. For your clients, both human and animal alike, let us help guarantee that all of the features of your space serve them well.

Give us a call now if you are looking to work with an experienced team to assist you with your veterinary hospital or animal clinic construction plans. We are available at 503-291-6986. Or, feel free to fill out our contact form here and we’ll get back to you ASAP!

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